Restore Education Funding
See also this Oklahoma Policy Institute fact sheet on why investing in education is key to economic growth and job creation.
I am reminded of an old cattleman saying: ‘You can’t starve a dollar out of a cow.’ … Starving education through lack of funding to force change in hopes of better performance will not work and is not working.
-Retiring Tulsa Public Schools police chief Gary Rudick
Oklahoma has made the largest cuts to school funding in the nation.
- Students are being crammed into overcrowded classrooms. Oklahoma has 1,500 fewer classroom teachers and 40,000 more students since 2008-2009.
- Lawmakers imposed stringent new testing and accountability mandates without new funding.
- Per student funding is down even more for Oklahoma higher education (-26.2% after inflation). The cost is being shifted onto rising tuition and fees.
Cutting education is bad for the economy.
- The most prosperous states are those with the best-educated workforce. Across the nation, we see that increased education improves incomes for average families much more effectively than lower tax rates.
- Education spending creates jobs today. Research finds that dollar for dollar, spending on education creates almost twice as many jobs as would be expected from tax cuts of equal value and also results in better paying jobs.
Oklahoma is already a low tax state with relatively few college graduates. We won’t be more prosperous when we’re an even lower tax state with less education. It defies economics and common sense!